Englewood, Colorado: Family, Culture, and Nature

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From historical sites and cultural festivals to family-friendly activities and outdoor adventures, Englewood, Colorado, provides a glimpse into classic Colorado living.

TL;DR

  • Englewood charms with its walkable downtown, locally-owned shops and restaurants, and community events.
  • Nearby attractions include Red Rocks Park, Chatfield State Park, and the Platte River Trail.
  • Don't miss the annual Englewood Cultural Arts Day in June and the Starlight Band Concerts on Thursday evenings each summer.

A Historical Railroad Town

Englewood, Colorado, a city in the Denver metro area situated in Arapahoe County, is easily accessible via Interstate 25 and US Route 285. It is known for its vibrant community, diverse neighborhoods, and proximity to downtown Denver.

Englewood began as a railroad stop on the Kansas-Pacific Railway in 1859. As one of the first settlements in Arapahoe County, Englewood quickly became an important supply hub and watering hole for travelers headed west. Visitors can still see remnants of Englewood’s railroad beginnings along the South Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, which follows an old Union Pacific railroad line.

Several historic sites provide a window into Englewood’s past, including the Buchanan Park Ponds and the Englewood Heritage House Museum. Stroll through Buchanan Park to see the ponds fed by the Little Dry Creek, which provided a respite for pioneers traveling the Smoky Hill Trail route of the Santa Fe Trail. At the Heritage House Museum, exhibits highlight Englewood families and industries of the late 1800s.

Charming Downtown District

Today, Englewood’s lively downtown centers are located around the Englewood City Center, where locals gather at community events or meet friends at one of the many independent cafes and shops. Meander along the tree-lined streets to browse the boutiques and art galleries that line Englewood’s historic business district.

No visit is complete without indulging in Englewood’s food scene. From farm-to-table restaurants like White Pie Pizzeria to long-time favorites like Tacos y Salsas, Englewood offers diverse cuisine to suit any palate. Be sure to sample local craft beers at the nearby Cheluna Brewing Company.

As the sun sets, enjoy live music and entertainment at the Gothic Theatre, a restored 1930s-era movie house, or the quaint Englewood Grand concert hall. Bars offer local bands, open mic nights, trivia, and karaoke late into the evening.

Family-Friendly Activities

Englewood offers plenty of family-friendly attractions. At the Pirate’s Cove water park, kids can splash down four-story tall slides and zoom around in tandem tubes. Miniature golf enthusiasts of all ages will love the creative courses at Funtastic Golf featuring everything from pirates and dinosaurs to aliens and zombies.

Several parks provide opportunities for picnics, playgrounds, and exploring nature. Buchanan Ponds Park has fishing ponds and a model airplane airfield. Cornerstone Park hosts festivals and events throughout the year. Belleview Park sits along the Highline Canal Trail, offering walking paths that connect to other greenway trails.

Englewood’s excellent museums also cater to families. From robotics to railroads, the Englewood Museum has interactive science exhibits for kids. Nearby, the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum displays over 200 quilts in intricate patterns and vibrant colors.

Outdoor Recreation Surrounding Englewood

Although Englewood offers plenty to do within its city limits, one of its biggest assets is the proximity to iconic Colorado outdoor attractions. A short drive takes you hiking among the dramatic red rock formations in Red Rocks Park or boating, fishing, and swimming at Chatfield State Park.

The Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway allows visitors to walk or bike ride along the river through forests and wetlands, catching glimpses of wildlife. Sections of the trail incorporate some of the notable routes that comprise the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway, retracing the steps of early American Indians, trappers, and pioneers.

For mountain scenery, take the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway and to Grant and Kenosha Pass. The stunning vistas of the Collegiate Peaks and the surrounding area open up as you climb through pine forests and past mountain meadows blooming with wildflowers. The byway provides access to hiking trails of all difficulties, including kid-friendly options like the Geneva Creek Trail.

Residents and visitors alike can enjoy these popular nearby destinations:

  • Castle Rock
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • South Platte River
  • Cherry Creek State Park
  • Englewood Civic Center

Cultural Events and Festivals

One of the best ways to experience Englewood’s strong sense of community is by attending a local festival or cultural celebration. The city’s premier event is Englewood Cultural Arts Day, which transforms the historic downtown into a vibrant arts showcase each June. Visitors can make their own art, watch cultural performances on outdoor stages, and see work by local artists.

Concerts and movies in the park also allow visitors to mingle with locals over music and entertainment. On summer Thursday evenings, all ages gather for the Starlight Band Concerts at Belleview Park. The Englewood Parks and Recreation department hosts Cinema in the City outdoor movie nights from August through October.

During December, the town glitters with holiday spirit. At the annual Englewood Celebration of Lights, the Civic Center Park dazzles with over 300 light displays while carolers, hot cocoa, and visits with Santa get everyone ready for the season.

Travel Tips for Visitors

Englewood offers a variety of accommodation options, from family-friendly suites to cozy bed and breakfasts. For luxury, the Hampton Inn and Suites features modern rooms with views of the Rocky Mountains. Budget travelers can enjoy comfortable rooms at the Best Western Plus Englewood Inn and Suites near the light rail station.

Getting to Englewood is easy, with light rail connections to downtown Denver, Denver International Airport, and other Front Range destinations. To explore locally, use the free Englewood Trolley, which stops at popular destinations like CityCenter Englewood, Swedish Medical Center, and Craig Hospital.

Englewood provides year-round opportunities for adventure, entertainment, and community. From scenic drives along historic byways to local craft beer on a sunny patio, Englewood offers a uniquely Colorado experience, all just minutes from a major metropolitan area. Visitors continue to discover why Englewood remains a popular base for authentic travel experiences.

FAQ

What is there to do in Englewood?

Englewood offers historic downtown charm, community festivals, family-friendly museums and activities, outdoor recreation access, and a taste of classic Colorado living.

When is the best time to visit Englewood?

Englewood has mild weather and things to do year-round. Summer is peak season with long sunny days. But each season has its own charm—dazzling fall foliage, snow-dusted winter scenery, spring wildflowers.

What is Englewood best known for?

Founded as a railroad stop just south of Denver, Englewood retains its small-town feel despite the city’s growth. Its historic downtown, community spirit, and proximity to the Rocky Mountains make it a quintessential Colorado town.

Shannon-Persad

About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at ReadyColorado.com. My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.